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Glucuronylated core 1 glycans are required for precise localization of neuromuscular junctions and normal formation of basement membranes on Drosophila muscles. Dev Biol 2018 04 15;436(2):108-124



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2-s2.0-85042880794   12 Citations


T antigen (GalI?1-3GalNAcI?1-Ser/Thr) is an evolutionary-conserved mucin-type core 1 glycan structure in animals synthesized by core 1 I?1,3-galactosyltransferase 1 (C1GalT1). Previous studies showed that T antigen produced by Drosophila C1GalT1 (dC1GalT1) was expressed in various tissues and dC1GalT1 loss in larvae led to various defects, including decreased number of circulating hemocytes, hyper-differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells in lymph glands, malformation of the central nervous system, mislocalization of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) boutons, and ultrastructural abnormalities in NMJs and muscle cells. Although glucuronylated T antigen (GlcAI?1-3GalI?1-3GalNAcI?1-Ser/Thr) has been identified in Drosophila, the physiological function of this structure has not yet been clarified. In this study, for the first time, we unraveled biological roles of glucuronylated T antigen. Our data show that in Drosophila, glucuronylation of T antigen is predominantly carried out by Drosophila I?1,3-glucuronyltransferase-P (dGlcAT-P). We created dGlcAT-P null mutants and found that mutant larvae showed lower expression of glucuronylated T antigen on the muscles and at NMJs. Furthermore, mislocalization of NMJ boutons and a partial loss of the basement membrane components collagen IV (Col IV) and nidogen (Ndg) at the muscle 6/7 boundary were observed. Those two phenotypes were correlated and identical to previously described phenotypes in dC1GalT1 mutant larvae. In addition, dGlcAT-P null mutants exhibited fewer NMJ branches on muscles 6/7. Moreover, ultrastructural analysis revealed that basement membranes that lacked Col IV and Ndg were significantly deformed. We also found that the loss of dGlcAT-P expression caused ultrastructural defects in NMJ boutons. Finally, we showed a genetic interaction between dGlcAT-P and dC1GalT1. Therefore, these results demonstrate that glucuronylated core 1 glycans synthesized by dGlcAT-P are key modulators of NMJ bouton localization, basement membrane formation, and NMJ arborization on larval muscles.

Author List

Itoh K, Akimoto Y, Kondo S, Ichimiya T, Aoki K, Tiemeyer M, Nishihara S


Kazuhiro Aoki PhD Associate Professor in the Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
Basement Membrane
Blotting, Western
Drosophila Proteins
Mass Spectrometry
Neuromuscular Junction
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction